An open letter from a citizen of Kurdistan to the PKK, KCK and BDP leadership

  • 28/11/2011 00:00:00

This piece is written by Kurdish citizen who does not wish to be named.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the armed struggle achieved what it could and it is now the time to be innovative in your approach and adopt a civil disobedience struggle aiming at weakening the Turkish economy.

When the PKK started its armed struggle in August 1984, the Kurds in Turkey were on the verge of losing their identity and majority of them had already been forced to deny their identities or were assimilated.

At the time, there was no opportunity what-so-ever to reclaim Kurdish identity through political means. Any claim of Kurdishness was responded by arrests, torture, imprisonment and executions.

The Kurds were left with no choice but to take the arms to reclaim their identity and that was the only option left to them. This approach has cost the Kurds dearly. An estimated 40,000 people have been in killed in the war between the PKK guerrillas and the Turkish army, overwhelming majority of whom were Kurdish.

This war, nonetheless, revived the Kurdish identity and inflamed Kurdish nationalism. It ended decades of assimilation and denial of Kurdish identity and for the first time in the modern Turkish Republic’s history it was admitted that the Kurds exist in Turkey and there was a Kurdish problem in Turkey.

However, no one who has even little understanding of the armed struggle would believe that the armed struggle in itself will defeat the Turkish state and hence achieve Kurdish self-determination. The armed struggle is only a means to force a brutal state to give concessions and accept that they have a problem and the problem needs a political solution. It seems that the Turkish state has come to this understanding.

Nonetheless, there is a need for a further pressure on the Turkish state to accelerate the reforms, officially recognize the Kurdish identity and grant Kurdish rights. The PKK did try this through attacks on Turkish armed forces but the Turkish state retaliated by more brutal force and there were allegations that it used chemical weapons against the Kurdish guerrillas. In addition, with the lending of new drones to the Turkish state by the United States and Israeli efforts to provide Turkey with unmanned drones the PKK will find it more difficult to exert any meaningful pressure on Turkey to speed up the reforms. Furthermore, as a country which prides in its armed forces, it is very difficult for the Turkish state to admit any pressure. In contrary, whenever it feels pressure it becomes more brutal and stubborn and refuses to implement reforms so not to give any indication that it is under pressure. This means that the armed struggle is not having the effect it should have.

Therefore, a new method of struggle should be adopted. As you would know, the current Turkish government has an ambition of becoming a regional power and the leader of the Islamic world. It has been interfering in the world affairs, particularly in the Middle Eastern countries’ internal affairs. For Turkey, in order to implement its vision it needs economic and financial resources. No country can become a meaningful regional or world power or can claim the leadership of a part of the world without an adequate economic and financial resources.

Therefore, the Kurdish movement should hit where it is effective. It is time for the PKK to stop its armed struggle and adopt a non violent civil disobedience aimed at weakening the Turkish state’s financial and economic resources. The PKK, KCK and BDP should support peaceful demonstrations throughout Turkey, call for strikes and closing down the shops and other economic and financial sectors, refuse to go to work and refuse to purchase Turkish goods and services. They also should call upon their Kurdish brothers in South and Eastern Kurdistan and the diaspora to refuse buying Turkish goods and services. This civil disobedience should continue until the Turkish state find a meaningful solution to the Kurdish question.

A citizen of Kurdistan

  • 28/11/2011 00:00:00